Mail from Melbourne: Who will be the new quantity?

I’ll admit it: I’ve been a bit of not sure since yesterday. A number of days in the past, stuffed with interior conviction, I wrote ten explanation why Novak Djokovic ought to win the Australian Open for the tenth time on Sunday.

But now I’m pondering of ten excuses, a bit of embarrassed, why he cannot win. Djokovic dropped just one set throughout the event. Nevertheless, the man appears to be struggling from adverse stress. Very totally different from his opponent, Stephanos Tsitsipas, who appears positively tense. This is the distinction.

Djokovic has been struggling from hip ache since the begin of the event, and never everybody believes him. But the manner he strikes exhibits that he has not gotten rid of his signs.

Djokovic has rather a lot to fret about

Djokovic is suffering from ill-tempered spectators. Djokovic is pictured with a bunch provocatively displaying banned Russian symbols, better of all unthinkingly battling his father. Therefore, Djokovic Sr. was not at Rod Laver Arena for the semi-final towards Tommy Paul. “I hope he will get again to the finals,” Djokovic mentioned, including, “My father was taken benefit of by these individuals.” Djokovic additionally struggles together with his skinny pores and skin resulting from this pointless distraction.

All of it is a distraction from the necessary factor: successful tennis matches. “Of course, I need to break data and proceed historical past,” admitted Djokovic. It’s getting tougher and tougher at ‘my age’, however drives the 35-year-old.

The first and final main finals between Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas confirmed simply how a lot his will will rise. Djokovic received the 2021 French Open title in Paris regardless of dropping 2-0. A win for the relationship.

“Stefanos is certainly one of the most fascinating individuals on the tour. And what makes him fascinating outdoors of tennis – and visually via his coiffure,” praised Djokovic with a smile.

Who will be the new primary?

But is the wild Tsitsipas mane even a coiffure?

Either manner, it is clear that the closing will be a really tough affair for Djokovic. Because Tsitsipas has had consistency in his recreation: he performed 69 aces right here in Melbourne. 67 p.c of the first companies arrived. 78 p.c of them scored factors. Djokovic is weak in these two key numbers: 59 aces, 64 p.c serve first. But he received barely greater than Tsitsipas, with 79 p.c of first serves.

The Melbourne winner was ranked primary in the world. The Greek had by no means accomplished something like this earlier than. The Greek has by no means received a Grand Slam title. Djokovic extends his document as primary: to 374 weeks!

Tsitsipas is completely happy that “Maria Sakkari and I can put our little nation, Greece, on the world map of tennis on this manner.” This brings the rivals collectively: nationwide satisfaction is a big motivation for each. Such substances can poison the ambiance in the stands. Djokovic expects that to not be the case: “We hope that everybody will come as a result of they need to see tennis. “Greece and Serbia are traditionally well-connected.”

Sentences like these present that these days sports activities at all times have a social and political which means. If you need or need. Incidentally, if he wins, Tsitsipas (24) would be the youngest Melbourne winner since 2011. At that point, Djokovic received the title towards Andy Murray at the age of 23.

It is fascinating that Djokovic (11:0) and Tsitsipas (10:0) haven’t misplaced this yr both. That, after all, says extra about the anticipated steadiness of the closing than Djokovic’s 10-2 win over Tsitsipas. Djokovic has received all of his final 9 matches, together with 5 on arduous courts.

Tsitsipas reached the high

Tsitsipas’ successes in 2019 (Shanghai) and 2018 (Toronto) had been additionally on arduous courts. “As a child, I hoped and labored to play huge video games like this,” Tsitsipas says. He feels that he has reached the high. Her confidence has grown considerably over the previous few months, much more so than her hair.

The account balances of each opponents will additionally improve considerably: The winner will obtain 2.975 million Australian {dollars} – the equal of 1.94 million euros. The loser will console himself with 1.625 million Australian {dollars}, which is the same as 1.062 million euros.

This is sufficient: on the one hand, for an honest haircut, and on the different hand, for a lot of hip bandages.

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